22 February 2015: “Is it ever acceptable to lie?”, led by Elizabeth Faiers

“Truth is the first casualty of war”. Winston Churchill.

Elizabeth Faiers led a thought-provoking service looking at whether it is ever acceptable to lie. Beginning with the familiar tale for all ages of the boy who cried wolf, we considered the thoughts of Jeffrey Lockwood (“Try being me”), Barbara Merritt (“What we require”) and Elizabeth Tarbox (“A New Mexico Education”). Elizabeth then led us though a consideration of the different types of lie we tell. Is a white lie the same as an excuse? Research shows that many people will not tell someone that there is something wrong with their appearance (such as lipstick on their teeth). What does this say about lies of omission? What do we think of people who lie, and how they lie?

Along the way, we considered the idea of self-transformation. Can we really be whoever we want to be, or is this another lie we need to reject to become our best selves? Whilst never claiming to know the answer – or that there is necessarily one answer – Elizabeth led us through a consideration of the different facets of lying and truth, leaving us with many questions to consider at the end of a very good service.